PlayStation Vue Busts Out

LAS VEGAS — The origins of PlayStation Vue, initially launched in a set of U.S. markets about three years ago, is rooted in the PlayStation 3 and 4 gaming consoles, but adoption of Sony’s over-the-top TV service has rapidly expanded to other supported platforms.

In fact, about 70% of PS Vue streaming now takes place on non-PlayStation devices, Dwayne Benefield, VP and head of PlayStation Vue (pictured), said Wednesday (April 11) at the NAB Show’s inaugural Streaming Summit.

In addition to the PS3 and PS4, PlayStation Vue, considered a whole-home offering because it allows for up to five simultaneous streams per account, is supported on Android TV devices, Apple TV boxes, Amazon Fire TV devices, Roku players and Roku TVs, Chromecast streaming adapters, web browsers and Android and iOS mobile devices.

Among other stats, Benefield said PS Vue subs average five hours-plus per session, with live TV making up 80% of viewing time on the streaming service.

Like other OTT TV providers, PS Vue has strived to add major local TV stations to its lineups, but does offer a version of the service under the “Slim” that gave PS Vue a national reach (and included next day VOD access to certain broadcast TV shows) and an avenue to markets where PS Vue didn’t offer live locals. Local TV is “valuable, but it’s not a make-or-break … I think [OTT TV] services can succeed without broadcast,” Benefield said.

Benefield was also asked about the challenges ahead as PS Vue faces off with a growing number of virtual multichannel video programming distributors.

While the addition of new players raises awareness that consumers have live TV streaming options, Benefield still doesn’t expect many more to jump into the game.

“This is not a faint-of-heart business,” he said.